Author: Anna David
Release Date: May 19, 2009
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Emma is a reporter in L.A., but she’s tired of covering awards shows and parties. She wants to report on something that matters, to advance her career and become a serious journalist. At a party, she meets a beautiful and ambitious woman named Jessica who gives her an amazing idea for the story that will be her big break. Jessica is a prostitute, but not in the traditional sense – instead of charging money, she accepts gifts from her clients. Emma is intrigued by this underground world, and as she learns more and more about it, she begins to get sucked in by the allure of being bought.
Bought is an amazing look at a world of ambiguous morals and blurry lines. The entire book is a question of right and wrong – who determines morality? Is prostitution wrong? If it is wrong, does accepting gifts instead of money make it less so? This book is all about the gray area. At the beginning, Emma is repulsed by this lifestyle, but as she learns more about it, she becomes fascinated by Jessica.
And it’s easy to understand why – Jessica is an incredibly intriguing character who is really difficult to understand. Every time Emma (and the reader ) feels like they have peeled back her layers, she proves that there is still more mystery there. It’s so difficult to know whether or not you can trust her. A lot of what she say makes sense, but just as you are beginning to let your guard down, she says something subversive or manipulative, which makes you unsure of what to think. Jessica is a masterfully written character; David deserves real credit for writing such a three-dimensional, complicated woman.
The reason that Bought is so appealing is because of how involved Emma becomes in Jessica’s life, and how close she gets to the world of prostitution. The ambiguous morality really leaves the reader reeling at the end of the book; it’s a novel that makes you think long after it’s over.
Bought was an unexpectedly good novel that was an amazing read. Don’t let the pink box on the cover fool you – this is a contemplative, deep novel that I highly recommend. Trust me, you won’t know what hit you!